Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Taillights - the best and the worst

Mitsubishi Mirage
I saw an article on Autoblog yesterday reporting that Mitsubishi was considering bringing the new Mirage (pictured above) to the US to "reinvigorate" its ailing lineup. While I agree that Mitsubishi needs to inject some excitement into its lineup, this Mirage certainly isn't going to do it. There are a lot of things I don't like about this car, but most importantly its nondescript, blobby taillights, which make the car look 10 years old. The styling of the Mirage looks instantly dated compared to other subcompacts on the market, especially those from Hyundai and Kia. The Mirage inspired me to think of some other automakers who haven't paid enough attention to taillights, and some that did. Click through for some examples:

First some boring taillights:
Toyota Corolla
The Corolla's taillights could be on any car. There is nothing distinct about them that would allow me to instantly identify the car as a Corolla.

Mazda 5
The Mazda 5's taillights look like droopy, sad eyes. They're too low in proportion to the rest of the back end.

Subaru XV
The XV is a rare example of a Subaru that excites me. The boxy lines mixed with curves are actually pretty I was disappointed when I saw the taillights, which look like an afterthought. The taillights are so nondescript, that they almost ruin the rear end. The black body cladding on the lower corners of the car saves the day, fortunately.

Subaru BR-Z / Scion FR-S
I know the new Toyotaru RWD project has a lot of fans, but I haven't caught the wave. I'm sure it is a blast to drive and drift, but I don't think Toyota and Subaru pushed the boundaries enough when it came to styling, and the taillights epitomize this. They are too small and seem misplaced with regard to the rest of the design. It's almost like they were aiming to copy the BMW Z4's taillights but had to tweak them enough so as to avoid legal trouble...

VW Tiguan
I like the Tiguan overall, but think VW could have gone further with the taillights. On the next model, make them a little more expressive!

Now for some exciting taillights...
Dodge Charger
The Charger's taillights are easily the most engaging on the market today. Looks great in the daylight and even better at night!

Volvo XC60
I love the curviness of the XC60's taillights, which are easy to see at nighttime, but also look great (just like the rest of the SUV).

Mercedes CLS
Goes without saying, but the CLS' taillights look like a million bucks.

BMW 5-Series
The 5-Series has always embedded LED "stripes" in their taillights, which look awesome at night.
Ford Mustang
Check out the new Mustang's taillights. Against the black plastic, the red LEDs pop at night.

Kia Optima
The taillights are one of many reasons why I love the Kia of the first exciting midsize cars available in awhile.

1 comment:

  1. The only taillights I really like of your examples are the Kia's. Generally, I am not a fan of taillight designs. They seem to be derivative or over-emphasized. They should be functional and fit the overall shape of the body. They should not call attention to themselves until they are used at night.